Tuesday, July 29, 2014

the littlest princess

This summer the activity Devyn and I were both looking forward to so much was the Tippy Toes Princess Dance Camp at our church.  Devyn hasn't entirely fallen in love with princesses. She likes them because Cade tells her that's what girls like. (HOW does my five year old know gender stereotypes?? Oh, the five year girls he hangs out with who are ob-sessed with princesses)

Up until the week of Devyn didn't own any ballerina clothes OR princess dresses. I took her to the local dance store and we picked out a blue leotard and blue tutu, tights, and a pink ballerina outfit. Day 1 she spreads lotion on her belly on her blue ballerina outfit two minutes before we were going to walk out the door. So we reverted back to the black and pink ballerina outfit....AND she was the ONLY little girl who came as a ballerina and not a princess. But she felt special. And isn't that the best?

The special feeling didn't last when we got in the door. Suddenly, homegirl became terrified. As in she was screaming and crying and begging me not to leave. The lead princesses told me she would be fine and assured me they would call me. They told me she was fine after a few minutes, but I died inside. Poor baby girl.

As the week went on she got a little more comfortable and enjoyed herself more and more each day. So when the final day came for the princess tea party that families were invited to, I was elated. I was so excited for my princess dream to come true and experience it all with my Devyn. The day  before I took her to the mall to pick out her very first princess dress. She chose Cinderella. I was so excited about her choice. It is the most gorgeous choice. Sparkly blue over shiny blue satin. It's dreamy and she looks precious in it. (She didn't feel precious in it. It itches. I hated to teach my two year old that fashion is painful and we sometimes sacrifice for beauty. I didn't want her to sacrifice too much, so I let her wear the blue leotard underneath to minimize itchiness. She did refuse the bows and ribbons and flowers for her hair that I offered....bummmmer)

I dropped her off that morning and when I excitedly arrived with Grammie and Cade for the princess tea party, this is what I saw.

That little puddle of blue between Aurora and Belle is Mommy's little Cinderella. Not at ALL what I expected to see! At first she was being silly then I realized she was nervous and didn't know what to do in front of all the parents and grandparents. Stage fright?!

And the group pic. She was one of three crying.
One little sweetie refused to be in the picture.
The time came for them to dance.
And for Devyn to bail.
I sat with her on the edge of the dance floor, hugging her in my lap as she whimpered.
She refused to dance. My girl who will twirl all night at home refused to dance. Of course I was sad, and a bit mad at first because I really wanted to see her up there. After all, she was the only one dressed as Cinderella and she's clearly the most beautiful girl there. I was sad for her that she didn't want to. Then I caught sight of the other mommies whose daughters also refused to dance and were crying. They both looked pissed. Royally pissed off. I didn't want to be pissed. So instead, I held my girl and tried to encourage her without pressuring her. Then, I wanted to cheer on the other little girls. One girl,  Belle, caught my eye. She was adorable and so happy. Then I realized she was 2 if not 3 years older than Devyn.  My baby survived Princess Ballerina Camp. It was tough, but she did it. She was scared but she was calm and she participated and she did it. She even came home happy every day. I could be proud of that. I am damn proud of that.

And then, as we were leaving she was hanging behind.
Staring lovingly at Elsa.
I melted and I felt that joy. That joy of the magic of my daughter enjoying what I enjoy about princesses. Not that you have to be rich, or pretty, or marry the prince. But that you can be anything you want to be. You can dream bigger than yourself. You can overcome. You can find friendship and love doing whatever you want to do and being yourself.
So, gender sterotype that it may be, I'm happy to support her new love for princesses.
And when she sat on Elsa's lap and gave me that smile one of my dreams I had when she was still in my belly came true. To see my daughter and love her for everything she is and everything she will be.
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